Interpretation is a vital element of any heritage tourism product. The aim of interpretation is to tell the stories about what makes a place significant and to create advocates for heritage conservation.
There are some excellent resources available to help with the development of interpretation. Museums Australia (WA) and the National Trust of Australia (WA) have produced an excellent guide to interpretation called Sharing the Stories, which can be downloaded for free.
Another excellent document is A Sense of Place – Interpretive Handbook was published in 1997 by a number of government agencies in Scotland and provides an excellent resource for people starting to develop interpretation.
We have produced an Interpretation guide, which aims to make interpretation easy to understand, plan and deliver.
To see the interpretation of the former Bairds Building, which is now home to the State Heritage Office, please click here.
The New South Wales Heritage Office has a number of excellent free publications relating to heritage interpretation and experience development including heritage trails.
One of the most important issues when looking at heritage is deciding whether or not it is significant. This applies to a building or an individual artefact. The Collections Council of Australia has created an excellent publication that shows you how to assess the significance of your collection.
Every year LotteryWest provides grant funding for the development and implementation of interpretation plans. The grant applications open in around May and closes in July annually.
There are a number of organisations in Australia and internationally that provide a focus for interpretation professionals.
Interpretation Australia Association (IAA) - is the peak body for interpreters in Australia. They provide professional development, information and an annual conference. There are also state chapters that provide the opportunity to meet with fellow professionals close to home.
The National Association of Interpreters (NAI) - is the US based organisation. They have a number of certifications and qualifications that they offer to interpretation professionals as well as a number of other resources.
The Association of Heritage Interpreters is the UK based organisation that focuses on creating excellence in interpretation.